Part 8: Allemond Point Camp, LA to New Orleans, LA


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The Trip

We closed out our stay at Allemond Point and headed south along the Henderson Levee road.  Our destination was Grand Isle.  From Grand Isle, we would travel to NOLA.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Next morning, Kathleen shot a few photos of the huge gator in the bayou behind our camp.  The lore states that every inch of length between eyes and nose translates into a foot of overall body length.  This is a big gator.

He slithered over a partially submerged log exposing his large thorax.

Evil eyes, always on the lookout for a meal.

We broke camp at Allemond Point and headed down Henderson levee road.  Soon, the road turned into dirt and stayed that way for the balance of the trail.  The levee is about 20 feet above the road, on the left.

We traveled for many miles and then came to a large lake to the west of the road.

The road was so good we knew it could not last.  We soon overtook the grader and things got a bit rougher.

Another ten miles down the road took us to this flood control gate built into the levee.

The road was much less traveled south of the flood control gate.

We hit another gate and then the only road was on top of the levee.  It was not heavily traveled and that should have been our clue that it was a dead end.  The map in the GPS showed that the road went through, so we continued on.

We encountered a phalanx of mowers.  These are the fellows that keep the brush in check to allow easy inspection of the levee.

The area is criss-crossed with petroleum pipelines.  Above is a pipeline bridge that crosses a nearby canal.  The lateral spars hold guy wires that prevent the suspended pipe from swinging in the wind.

As it turned out, the road did not go through.  This is the end of the line and we had to backtrack a few miles to exit the levee road.

The locals on the other side of the canal were fishing for lunch.

Bob turned around and we followed suit.

Once we were back on the asphalt, we headed for Grand Isle.  On the new causeway, we spotted this shrimp boat hauling it its nets.

Virtually all structures on Grand Isle are on stilts.  The frequency of flooding due to storm surge is high enough to make this necessary.  It could be a local ordinance for all I know.

We spent the night at the state park on Grand Isle.  It was a nice night and not too hot.  Next morning, we headed back to the mainland.  The new causeway was an engineering marvel and traveled for perhaps 10 miles above the swampy marshes.

The marshes make travel in this area difficult, so a causeway is pretty much a requirement.

At the end of the causeway, we saw an RV park that was actually housing for the oil workers.  Not a lick of shade here and very hot on a sunny day.

Further north along LA-1 we passed this Coast Guard ship under construction at a shipyard.

Heading north onto I-310 we got a nice view of the bridge spanning the Mississippi River.

The bridge and supporting roads is quite impressive.

From the top of the bridge, we could see these ships being loaded or unloaded with clam shell buckets.  The cargo appears to be coal and the clam shells transfer the coal from the ship to barge (or vice versa).

NOLA has a significant infrastructure that supports the petrochemical industry.

Ugh, traffic.  This tie-up was caused by gravel that spilled onto I-10 from a large truck.  The gravel caused a number of cars to lose control and crash.  Based in the info Bob got on the CB radio, the event had been in progress for hours.  We were detained for about an hour.

We got to the epicenter of the spill and the DOT had loaders and sweepers working on the problem.  Note the last damaged car being removed in the median.

The local police caught the culprit; they had the truck pulled of and wrote a citation for the havoc caused by not securing his rear dump gate.  Note the damaged car on the wrecker in front of the dump truck.

Our path took us right next to the Superdome, now branded "Mercedes-Benz".

In this portion of town, I-10 is an elevated causeway.  From the road, we could see one of the many above ground cemeteries which are icons of NOLA.

We stayed at the French Quarter RV park and it is one of the nicest places we have ever stayed in our truck.  It is only a short walk from the FQ, but it is in a seedy portion of town.  The only downside was we also had a nice view of the I-10 causeway and were in direct line of sight of the traffic and it's noise.  I-10 is visible in the top of the photo above.

Thor and the 1300L were the "belles of the ball" at FQRV.

FQRV is pricey, but it is so close to the action in the French Quarter that it attracts the high-end crowd.  There were some very nice, and expensive, RVs in this park.  We met many of the owners at the hot tub and our trucks produced some interesting conversations.

NOLA is a convention town and the fellow on the right in the photo above was in town for the wireless convention.  He had this 18 wheeler custom built to carry his jeep while pulling his 5th wheel.  And, he pulled a small cargo trailer behind the 5th wheel.  He was over-length by quite a bit, but stated that he had only been pulled over once in 15 years.  The fine was $300, so he just treated it as another tax and continues to operate his rig.

The French Quarter is interesting, but tuned to separate tourists from their cash.  But, once you look past that fact, there are many interesting historical things to see and do.  Plus, there are tons of restaurants and bars.  Once you take into account the "sleaze factor", things are fine.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2012, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.